Restaurants are increasingly moving from clipboards and pens to digital technology. And they should. These digital tools streamline and simplify multiple processes – from taking customers’ orders to facilitating inspections.
Food Engineering features some thoughts on the recent Romaine lettuce contamination by Aaron Cohen, co-founder of CoInspect and adjunct professor at New York University where he teaches the History of Internet Media. Wayne Labs, FE senior technical editor, conducted an exclusive, one-on-one interview with Cohen, immediately following Cohen’s text. Cohen has been CEO of several technology companies including MenuPages, which was acquired by Seamless.
Restaurants must take food safety seriously—every employee, every day, on every shift.
Today’s consumers are seeking fresher, healthier food, focusing more on salads and other produce versus more processed, high-fat convenience foods. As Americans demand healthier products, restaurants and other food businesses are responding with fresher ingredients. And this is a big reason that we’ve seen a huge uptick in foodborne illnesses lately. It’s a great irony that produce and other fresh foods are healthier for consumers to eat, but they inherently carry more food safety risk.
Earlier this spring, the CDC started issuing warnings about an E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona. Since many food businesses rely on antiquated pen and paper record-keeping, as opposed to digital technologies, it was challenging to pinpoint exactly where the tainted lettuce came from and where it was shipped, sold and served.
WE MUST RETHINK ORGANIZATIONAL PRIORITIES STARTING AT THE C-SUITE.
Over the past year, I have met more than 100 highly dedicated, thoughtful food safety leaders—and they are an anxious lot. You see, they know better than every executive, investor, regulator, and customer how broken the American food safety system is. But they can’t fix it.
Today's consumers demand fresh, locally sourced food and that means ingredients are now more susceptible to food safety issues than at any point in recent history. Here are some recent lowlights:
- Recent (massive) romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak - and subsequent product recall
- Tainted produce in McDonald's salads which recently sickened hundreds of consumers
- Bacteria in pre-cut fruit - the list goes on and on.
Topics: Food Safety
WHAT IF YOU COULD IMMEDIATELY AND ACCURATELY FIND OUT IF ANY OF YOUR PRODUCE HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN A FOOD SAFETY RECALL?
Consider two restaurants. Both serve the same kind of food, both have friendly staff and are in an excellent location. But one is full of customers and the other nearly always empty. Why? The answer to this riddle is their letter grade: one has an A, and the other a B.
Millennials love their mobile devices. Are you leveraging that passion in the workplace with mobile productivity tools?
Millennials comprise the largest demographic in the restaurant workforce. You’d bet a lot of your wealth that they all carry smartphones. Yet, unlike the white-collar world, almost none of them use that device for work beyond scheduling. What about training? Operations? Compliance?
For the past 3 years, American restaurant chains have invested in a series of technologies designed to boost revenues and improve customer loyalty. Atop every front counter is a loyalty program tablet-based payment system. Signage encourages you to download the company’s new delivery app and every other television ad drives you to engage with the company’s digital presence. The most recent technology cycle has focused on revenue growth through digital innovation. As that cycle matures, operators need new sources of economic opportunity and the next wave -- the Internet of Things -- is surging towards the kitchen.